The so-called ‘Climate Action Summit’ was an odd affair. It began with a youth dialogue, including a speech from Greta Thunberg, who called out the audience of heads of state and CEOs of some of the companies known for their inaction in the face of the climate emergency.

“How dare you say it is business as usual”, “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth, how dare you”, she said. This public telling off was greeted with tumultuous applause – perhaps showing that it was going to be business as usual after all.

UN SDG Summit: 24-25 September

The need for gender equality is being referred to throughout discussions on the SDGs as an important prerequisite to achieving the goals

25 September New York: “There is simply no way we can achieve the 17 SDGs without achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls”. Who said this? A feminist polemicist? No, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pointing out that gender equality is the thread running through the 2030 Agenda.

SDG Summit: 24-25 September 2019

SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

24 September, New York: “Public infrastructure is the bedrock of our societies: it helps families thrive, and allows communities and businesses to grow”, says David Boys, from global trade union federation Public Services International.

For this reason it is impossible to build a resilient infrastructure, an aspect of SDG 9, without a firm foundation of human rights and universal access to quality public services, says David Boys, writing in Spotlight 2019*, published by the Civil Society Reflection Group, which analyses annual progress on the 17 SDGs.

Global UN Watchdog warns that while big donors bridge the gap in WHO funding they are also shaping health programmes according to business norms, and marginalising public health programmes. The writers suggest measures to reinstate the WHO at the centre of Universal Health Coverage.

When the Global Health Summit opens on Monday, its morning session will focus on using the campaign for Universal Health Coverage as a driver of the Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensuring healthy lives.

Will world leaders at the Climate Summit match the courage of the school students who strike around the world against the climate emergency, or will they be put to shame?

20 September, New York: Will the tone of Monday’s UN Climate Summit pale in contrast with the courage of striking students who are taking a day off school in 120 countries,  to march for action to confront the climate emergency, though many know they could face severe penalties?

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